Space Needle 1HP Motor Turns 125 Ton Restaurant

After all these years in Washington state, I finally went up the Space Needle. There are a lot of historical facts posted along the way to the elevator ride and this one in particular caught my eye – the 125 ton restaurant that goes round and round is turned by a single 1 horsepower motor.

Not that it is free energy, but goes to show that when you have good engineering and you can balance 125 tons that well that you can rotate it for less than 800 watts!

Here’s a picture of that sign as well as a few other pics I snapped of the Space Needle.

NOTE: Apparently, the original motor was 1HP, now it is 1.5HP.

  • So far this makes no sense to me. Where’s the motor? Where’s the leverage to turn a large load? A little cog turns a bigger cog? Where?

    • I don’t know – its in there somewhere. If something is balanced enough, you don’t really need the leverage. Look at a little 3 year old – can turn a merry-go-round all alone at a park and that can be a few hundred pounds of steel.

      • Mr_Jeff

        I concur with the merry go-round analogy, as it’s also parallels with the microwave turntable in one’s kitchen. A direct drive at the axis requires high torque. Motion away from the axis (satellite orbit) requires less effort. Remember Archimedes principle of the lever.
        As for Healing Toolbox’s comment of ‘where is…’, yes, it would be good to have some pictures. Then again it may be impossible to see it owing to the dangerous place it resides. Only maintenance people would have access to the motor room. Cheers. Jeff.

  • Louie Freeman

    So a 1HP to a 1.5HP motor. I don’t know about you but I think they went backwards on efficiency. Expected the HP to be 3/4 horse by now. Mr. Aaron Murakami you should have left a business card or even Mr. John Bedinis card let them know there are better stronger more efficient motors you could get your or Mr. John Bedini name further into the mainstream by building such a motor.